If you read my previous article, you’ll recall I wrote in fair length about the dismal state of America’s electricity grid. And… I admit… it got pretty heavy.
But, not to worry…
Each time we speak of something negative happening in America (or beyond) in our virtual pages, we must counter it with a positive solution.
And here’s why…
If you’ve suffered our missives long enough, you know we’re unapologetic optimists. And this rule makes it clear where we stand.
Yes, we believe it’ll get worse before it gets better. But once we make it through the proverbial “Dark Night of the Soul,” the world will be a much saner, much better place to live.
The good news about the energy grid is… out of sheer demand and necessity… we are moving toward a more sustainable, robust, and decentralized energy grid.
Wanna’ know something the mainstream news isn’t giving much airtime?
There’s a HUGE market for getting off the grid — or at least, having a backup plan. And many private companies are paying close attention.
Tesla, for example, is almost set to release its Powerwall.
“Powerwall,” the company’s website reads, “is a home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels, or when utility rates are low, and powers your home in the evening. It also fortifies your home against power outages by providing a backup electricity supply. Automated, compact and simple to install, Powerwall offers independence from the utility grid and the security of an emergency backup.”
How Tesla’s Powerwall works…
The cost for the system, at first glance, is still a bit too high to justify. But, in time, and with more competition, this will change.
And the innovation will compound faster and faster as more and more capital is invested.
Harvard professor Michael Aziz and his team believe, for example, they’ve already trumped Tesla’s Powerwall — with what’s called a flow-cell battery.
And if Aziz’s team doesn’t act quick, someone else will come out with something superior to the flow-cell. It’s just the name of the game when you’re talking about an industry that’s… finally… grown legs and has just learned to run.
Don’t believe us?
Take a look at what your editor just saw on his Facebook page…
That’s right. India’s done it again. First Health City, and now this?
In five years, the airport will make its investment back. And all 33 airports in India are now reportedly following Cochin’s lead.
But it’s not only in India’s airports where the shiny panels are spreading like weeds…
“Solar power on roofs is growing so fast it is absolutely astounding,” Stephen Petranek — editor of the premium tech advisory,Breakthrough Technology Alert — said earlier this year.
“You can’t drive through a neighborhood around Washington, D.C., or Phoenix, or Salt Lake City, or LA or many other hubs in America without seeing solar going up on roofs,” Stephen says. “In the end, it can save you a fortune in utility bills.
“It’s also disruptive as can be to utility companies. The battery part of the equation really puts the nail in electric utility coffins. It makes no economic sense to build a house that doesn’t have solar installed from the get-go. This will soon become as common as a furnace or washing machine — it’s the next home necessity.”
But, Stephen cautioned, “this is a start, not the finish line.”
Even still, the trend, as day traders are fond of saying, is your friend. But here’s the best news: By investing in off-the-grid solutions, Americans are helping to decentralize the grid.
And not just with solar…
As technology continues to advance, and renewable energy sources become cheaper, we’re going to see a whole buffet of energy options to choose from.
“Photovoltaic cells, wind energy, fuel cells, and energy storage will be major components of the decentralized grid,” Tracy Edwards writes on The Future of Energy blog. “Furthermore, home and business owners will become ‘prosumers’; they will both produce and consume energy.
“A decentralized grid will enable people who produce energy at their homes and businesses to feed energy back into the grid. As the grid incorporates more distributed energy, a larger percentage of energy will be generated locally.
“This will reduce the need for transmission lines, which will reduce vulnerability and improve efficiency. Energy storage will be an essential component of the decentralized energy system because much of the decentralized energy will come from renewables and energy storage allows for mitigation of the variability of renewables.”
Once again, it’s up to us — people like you and me — to create a better future for this country.
And the shift to a better America begins and ends with one word…
That’s why we’ve invited Patrick M. Byrne, CEO and chairman of Overstock.com, to speak about why the future is decentralized — and why that’s great. More on that tomorrow.